Sustainable Urbanisation? Norwegian Cabin Culture in Transition


In this article, we explore a cultural change which has made the desire to live close tonature from a core tenet of Norwegian culture to an unsustainable threat to nature.During the last two decades, Norwegian cabin tourism has moved from hard' forms(few, prolonged stays, strong identification with the site) of ecotourism tosofter’ones (shorter, more frequent stays, commercialisation of the site). These changes, weargue, have led to a situation in which the image of an ideal cabin which echoes hardecotourism is perpetuated within new, softer practices. Unfortunately, this new kindof nature tourism, which is characterised by many short stays of many uncoordinatedvisitors spread over preferably pristine' nature, is inherently unsustainable. As analternative, we propose more cautious transitions to more coordinated anddenser’forms of tourism, which are exemplified in two cases.

Journal of Tourism and Cultural Change
Thomas Berker
Professor of Science and Technology Studies